1. Have you been following the Taylor Lorenz affair? Let me see if I can bring you up to date without spending more time than is justified, since she is, all things considered, trivial. She is a New York Times culture and tech reporter who has botched things up enough to be fired under previous standards of journalism (which now has no standards.) She has been repeatedly caught fabricating claims about public figure: in the last six weeks she twice publicly lied about Netscape founder Marc Andreessen: once claiming she overheard him he used the word “retarded” in a Clubhouse room (he hadn’t, but so what if he had?) and later accusing him of plotting with a white nationalist to attack her, which also didn’t happen. She also often uses her platform with the Times to attack private citizens by accusing them of harboring non-acceptable beliefs. Last week, she took to Twitter on National Women’s Day to claim victim status, writing on Twitter,
“For international women’s day please consider supporting women enduring online harassment….it is not an exaggeration to say that the harassment and smear campaign I have had to endure over the past year has destroyed my life…No one should have to go through this.”
This, in turn, triggered Tucker Carlson, in his Fox News show, to refer to Lorenz in a segment on how powerful people like Meghan Markle got away with playing victim. He mocked Lorenz’s tweets in light of her position as a star reporter for the Times when much of the nation is out of work. “Lots of people are suffering right now,” Carlson said. “But no one is suffering more than Taylor Lorenz.”
The Times, incredibly, accused Carlson in a public statement of unleashing “a wave of harassment and vitriol” at “a talented New York Times journalist,” and concluded with, “Journalists should be able to do their jobs without facing harassment.”
That’s right: journalists should be immune from criticism, and if the journalist is a woman, criticism equals “harassment.”
Over at substack, Glenn Greenwald writes,
In order to shield themselves from the same scrutiny and accountability every other powerful public figure receives, [mainstream media journalists are] resuscitating the most discredited and antiquated myths about who is strong and weak, who requires protection and special considerations and who does not. No discussion of this tactic would be complete without noting its strong ideological component: its weaponization for partisan aims. Say whatever you’d like about journalists like Laura Ingraham or Mollie Hemingway or Briahna Joy Gray or political figures such as Kellyanne Conway, Susan Collins or Kirstjen Nielsen. Have at it: the sky’s the limit. Let it all fly without the slightest concern for accusations of misogyny, which, rest easy, will not be forthcoming no matter how crude or misogynistic the attacks are…This transparent tactic is part-and-parcel of the increasingly ideological exploitation of identity politics to shield the neoliberal order and its guardians from popular critique.
2. Oooh…Bill Cosby must be getting worried! A seventh harassment accuser has stepped up against Governor Cuomo. In other news, both Democratic U.S. Senators, Schumer and Gillibrand, have called for him to resign. Today, Cuomo responded by saying,
“There are facts, and then there are opinions, and I’ve always separated the two. Politicians who don’t know a single fact, but yet form a conclusion and an opinion, are in my opinion, reckless, and dangerous. The people of New York should not have confidence in a politician who takes a position without knowing any facts or substance That, my friends, is politics at its worst. Politicians take positions for all sorts of reasons, including political expediency and bowing to pressure. But people know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture, and the truth.”
Imagine: a prominent member of the Democratic Party actually uttered those words, after all of the false and groundless claims his party made against President Trump over the past four years. In addition to the hypocrisy, these awful people have such disrespect for the public, and assume Americans have the memories of dementia patients. The tragedy is that they aren’t far wrong.
3. “…then they came for chocolate sauce and whipped cream…” I just learned today that Brigham’s ice cream, a New England tradition, has changed the name of its iconic chocolate sprinkles, known as “jimmies” in New England for more than a century, to “sprinkles.” Why? Oh, someone claimed that “jimmies” was a racist name, with no evidence whatsoever. Based on “Jim Crow,” you know. That’s all it took.
These claims of racism in the culture are getting more and more attenuated and contrived, have you noticed? And these companies, and so many Americans, are such disgraceful, pathetic cowards, so easily bullied and cowed, allowing the culture to be trashed and scarred to advance totalitarian conformity.
In fact, the sprinkles were probably named “jimmies” after an employee named Jim in the early 20th century came up with the sprinkles idea. Never mind. Facts don’t matter. All that matters is avoiding conflict and acknowledging who’s in charge.